Two hundred acres to be burned today near Hearst Castle

State Parks intends to conduct a prescribed burn today on 212 acres of Hearst San Simeon State Park grassland, according to Vince Cicero, state park senior environmental scientist.

The burn area is located near Tortuga Creek, between Arroyo Laguna (Oak Knoll Creek) and San Simeon Point.

Cicero said the vegetation-management action will make native plant communities healthier, encourage increased varieties of the native plants, keep open the coastal views and help control non-native, weedy species that have flourished in the area.

Smoke from the burn could be visible along the North Coast. “We’re hoping for really good dispersal,” Cicero said, but this kind of operation “is a continuum and a process,” with decisions made continually on proceeding or stopping based on a number of factors.

The work is to be done in cooperation with State Park staff, CalFire and the county’s Air Pollution Control District, and if weather or other conditions change, the burn will be canceled or halted, Cicero said.

This would be the third major burn State Parks has conducted on the North Coast, he said.